STURGEON, Mo. - Missouri helped consumers recover more than $16 million in insurance claims last year.
Missouri's Department of Insurance helps residents get their claims paid and last year saw a significant rise in the number of claims paid.
Sturgeon cattle farmer Tim Cobb relies on his tractor to provide food for his animals. When it was stolen in the middle of the harvest, he turned to his insurance company for help.
"We were almost finished haying when the tractor went missing. We had a second cutting of hay that didn't get picked up."
And that hay was needed to feed Cobb's cattle.
Cobb says he filed a claim with his insurance company, the Missouri Farm Bureau, right away, but months went by and no check arrived.
"They would send me emails that said they didn't know the value of the tractor. They said they were unable to find the value of the tractor. They basically just kept stalling," said Cobb.
With no tractor, things at the farm started to get desperate.
"It was getting to the point where I wouldn't have been able to feed hay without the tractor," said Cobb.
Then, a friend told Cobb that he could turn to the Missouri Department of Insurance.
"I sent them an email telling them my situation. They replied right away. Within just a few hours, I had an email back that they were going to send a letter. They sent the letter and sent me a copy of it. Within 10 days, I had a check," said Cobb.
Officials from the Department say Cobb is just one of many they were able to help.
"Sometimes people call us and they're frustrated. They don't feel like their story has been told. We're able to add a new fresh perspective," said Missouri Insurance Director John Huff.
Now, life on the farm is getting back to normal for Cobb.
The department handled over 9,000 inquiries in 2013 and the $16.1 million dollars it got back for consumers was $5 million more than the previous year.
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